To celebrate our women-identifying founders, we’ve put together ‘On Wednesdays, we startup’, a blog series dedicated to putting women founders centre stage to acknowledge their work, complexities and wins!
We hope to push women founder stories forward and share lessons learned and insights for other aspiring women entrepreneurs.
We recently sat down with Senia Wang, the Co-Founder and COO of Charmy Pet, to learn more about the company and their commitment to creating ethically and sustainably sourced pet products, as well as Senia’s experience as a woman studentpreneur.
Charmy Pet is a pet nutrition platform and monthly subscription service built to address the importance of individualized diets for pets.
“I think the work we are doing at Charmy Pet can really change the pet food industry. Not only are we providing pet owners with products free from added preservatives, we are fully transparent with where our products are sourced, empowering pet owners to make informed decisions.” Their technology evaluates each pet’s nutritional needs based on breed, age, activity level, and more. Providing personalized pet food, Charmy Pet allows pet owners to track exactly where their ingredients are being sourced, and track their orders in real time.
“Research shows us that pets’ lives are shortened by about 20% today, compared to other centuries in history. This — in large part — is due to their diets.”
Senia explains that a lot of pet food today is extremely processed. A majority of manufacturers today use extrusion, a process that uses high heat to turn ingredients into kibble, which removes up to 40% of the ingredients nutrients.
“At Charmy Pet we want to provide nutritious and sustainably sourced ingredients for pet owners. We believe that long and healthy lives for pets begin with their diets.”
Supporting Canadian farmers, Charmy Pet sources a majority of its meat from across Alberta and Ontario and is an official partner of Ocean Wise Seafood, meaning its seafood is certified sustainably sourced.
Wanting to be as transparent with their customers as possible, Charmy Pet has incorporated a QR code onto the packaging of their products, allowing customers to quickly access a list of ingredients and details on how and where the protein was sourced.
“Our team consists of environmentalists, and we wanted to create products we could be proud of. The pet food industry has not stepped up when it comes to providing nutritious and ethical products pet owners can feel proud about giving to their furry friends — we knew it was important to adapt to the environmentally-conscious consumer.”
“The pet food industry has not stepped up when it comes to providing nutritious and ethical products pet owners can feel proud about giving to their furry friends — we knew it was important to adapt to the environmentally conscious consumer.”
Senia highlights that women founders typically have more responsibilities to juggle and face various external pressures in comparison to their male counterparts.
“It’s easy to get distracted from others’ expectations of us. While we have seen some change, I do think women with ambitious career goals are still undervalued and are not taken as seriously as men.
Our performance as women is valued according to different parameters than males, across different areas of life, and it’s important for the ecosystem to eliminate these biases. It doesn’t matter how old you are, or what stage of life you’re at, if you have a business idea that you think will serve a purpose, just do it. ”
She encourages all aspiring women innovators to dive right in.
“There is never going to be a perfect time to start a business, so just start however you can. Don’t let the fear of failure stop you from doing what you want.”
When not working on Charmy Pet, Senia is busy with her undergraduate degree. A 3rd year student at Ryerson University, Senia is studying Hospitality and Tourism Management.
When it comes to balancing school life and Charmy Pet, Senia underscores the importance of organization and having a solid Co-Founder.
“I have a strong relationship with my Co-Founder, Zach Sheng. We are both supportive, and keep each other accountable when it comes to both school and Charmy Pet.
We’re strong in different areas. He takes on more of the business development, whereas I lead marketing and customer acquisition. Having a Co-Founder whose skills are complementary to yours is vital, and ensures our time is being used efficiently.”